The Meatless Monday campaign has just gotten a big boost: Institutional mega-feeder Sodexo has joined the campaign and has started to roll out and publicize vegetarian options on its corporate, healthcare, and college menus across the United States. All told, Sodexo serves about 10 million people daily.
In January more than 900 of Sodexo’s hospital operations joined. In the spring Sodexo’s corporate and government clients will also have the menus and promotional materials in place. About a dozen colleges served by Sodexo already were participating in the program and by the fall, all of Sodexo’s educational facilities will be participating. By the end of 2011, senior living community clients will be added to the program.
Meatless Monday touted the importance of Sodexo’s involvement:
Sodexo is truly leading the way by lending their large-scale support to the movement. Not only will their Meatless Mondays meals reach hundreds of thousands of people nationwide, their use of the campaign to fulfill health and environmental commitments shows other companies large and small that Meatless Monday is a simple way to make a big impact.
Even if it’s just one day a week (and if you can do one day, you can do all seven) more people adopting vegetarian diets is a win for their health, the environment, and for the welfare of animals, so this is solidly a good step. Even one day a week of vegetarianism makes a difference.
Vegetarians Easily Get Enough Protein…
One thing that’s worth nitpicking a bit though: In Sodexo’s press release, the executive chef of Johns Hopkins Hosptial’s Cobblestone Café says, “Once people realize that vegetarian meals provide the protein that they need and are just as interesting, flavorful–and fun to prepare–people find them easy to integrate into their lives.”
All true, but the corollary to that and something that really needs to be promoted more is that not only do vegetarian diets provide all the protein that the average person needs, the amount of protein that you need is far less than most people assume. In fact, if you’re getting adequate nutrition more broadly (as is, you’re eating a balanced diet of whole foods and consuming the appropriate amount of calories for your height, weight, gender and age) you’re easily getting enough protein.